Year of the Miner
Party of five
Miners fourth team to win five straight
The Union, Nov. 17, 2006
DAVIS – So, Bob Rogers, you just coached Nevada Union to its fifth-straight section championship. How does it feel?
“That was nice.”
NU’s celebration was brief after its 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 win Thursday against Davis in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I volleyball championship at the University of California, Davis.
Maybe that’s because the Miners are accustomed to winning the title.
Or maybe they just have greater expectations.
Either way, the Blue Devils failed to spoil NU’s plans for a section championship.
“We were real confident coming in,” Rogers said.
Davis, the No. 6 seed, looked ready to stun the No. 1 Miners in the first game, when NU fell behind 9-3. But with junior setter Jen Sager serving, Nevada Union scored 11 unanswered points to take a 14-9 lead.
In game two, the Blue Devils led briefly at 5-3, but back-to-back kills by junior outside hitter Sarah McAtee returned the lead to the Miners, who steadily increased the gap as the game progressed.
Nevada Union never trailed in the final game.
“Sometimes in the beginning we just have slow starts communication-wise,” said junior middle hitter Kylie Miraldi.
Miraldi, a first-year transfer from Forest Lake Christian, is one of the few NU starters who entered the match without having won a section championship. Miraldi finished with four kills, three of which came consecutively late in the third game.
“This is something that almost seals the deal,” Miraldi said of winning the final, adding that she won’t be satisfied, though, until her team is the California state champion.
McAtee’s 13 kills led Nevada Union’s offense, while junior middle hitter Caroline Reeves added six kills, and sophomore libero Alexis Moser led the defense with 13 digs. Reeves and Sager combined for 32 assists.
– Jeff Miller
Bakersfield or bust
Nevada Union duo destined for championships
The Union, March 2, 2007
Two Nevada Union wrestlers have earned a trip to Bakersfield today and Saturday for the CIF State Wrestling Championships.
But the paths they took there were drastically different.
Senior Brett Schauffler will wrap up his third wrestling season this weekend. Matt Manuel, a junior, has been at it for 11 to 12 years.
Either way, both are headed for the biggest event in state wrestling and both are seeded fifth after last week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, Schauffler at 152 pounds and Manuel at 130 pounds.
“This is going to be really exciting,” Schauffler said. “This is my first state tournament, so I’m really looking forward to the competition.”
One interesting class at school was enough to convert Schauffler from football over to wrestling. After just one year of football, Schauffler took a wrestling P.E. class. He said his elementary school didn’t have a wrestling program, so he’d never been introduced to it before that high school class.
“It’s just really fun,” Schauffler said. “I played football, but this is something where I can be out there doing it for myself.”
Taking to the mat for Schauffler resembled a fish and water.
“I know this has happened before, but it’s rare (to see someone advance that quickly),” NU co-head coach Paul Gross said. “It
In last week’s masters tournament, Schauffler had quite an experience. In the quarterfinals, he managed to beat state-ranked Ryan Nelson from Foothill. With the win, Schauffler guaranteed himself a spot on the state tournament.
Manuel, meanwhile, is no stranger to wrestling. His brother, Luke, earned two section championships and went to two state tournaments, placing sixth as a junior and second as a senior before graduating last year. Luke took his talents to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. this year.
“I’m coming in unraked, so I’m looking to upset some kids,” Matt Manuel said. “I’d like to surprise some people and look to place.”
Manuel’s status of underdog probably has more to do with an ill-timed knee injury than anything.
“He missed the entire league season after starting the season on fire,” NU co-head coach Steve Pilcher said. “He amazes me that he came back so quickly, but I think he’s the best wrestler in the section and in the top five in the state.”
Pilcher did say the injury is still bothering Manuel, who has a tendency to keep to himself.
“He’s real stoic, so now one knows but him,” Pilcher said. “He doesn’t let on. But every day he was doing drills and hitting the weights. I think it’s just amazing that he’s even there.”
– Ross Maak
Porter wins section title
NU girls swim to 9th, boys 5th in Lodi
The Union staff, May 14, 2007
For the first time in 23 years a Nevada Union girls swimmer has returned from the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship Meet with a section championship.
Haley Porter earned a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle during Saturday’s meet finals at Tokay High School in Lodi. Porter finished with a time of 23.89 seconds, good enough to break her own school record and earn a All-American time.
Porter helped the team to a ninth-place finish out of 90 teams participating.
On the boys side, Kyle Virva placed second in the 200 individual medley, missing a section championship by one one-hundredths of a second. Jesuit’s John Leopold managed a championship time of 1:54.52 while Virva clocked in a 1:54.53.
Virva’s performance helped the Miners to a fifth-place finish in what Sultan called one of the closest races in section history. Jesuit won with 270 while Davis came in second at 262 and Granite Bay was third at 261, meaning just nine points separated the top three teams. Rio Americano was fourth with 191 while NU was fifth with 141.
“We placed in all three relays in the finals, so that made a huge difference in terms of points,” NU coach John Sultan said. “That’s the best finish we’ve had as a team in school history.”
Virva also finished third in the 100 butterfly in 51.58. He had set a new school record in the event the day before.
For the girls, Porter wasn’t done after her section championship. She returned to finish third in the 100 freestyle in 51.55, also a new school record and an All-American time.
– The Union staff
NU’s strong second half vaults team to playoffs
The Union, Nov 10, 2006
SACRAMENTO – Nevada Union nailed down a playoff berth with 41-28 win over Valley Thursday night, after the Miners took control of game in which at one point Valley held a lead.
But only briefly.
When Chad Mason took over as NU’s quarterback just before halftime, Valley had a seven-point advantage at 20-13.
But on Mason’s first snap under center, the senior brought the Miners to Valley’s 13-yard line with a 25-yard pass to Steele Jantz, who had started the game at quarterback in place of Mason, who was injured last week.
Mason lofted a pass to Doug Dolan in the back right corner of the end zone on the next play, but Dolan was ruled out-of-bounds, leaving NU 13 yards from the end zone with 6.6 seconds left in the half.
Rather than kick a field goal, Miners coach Dave Humphers took a shot at six points with the same play, but this time it was Jantz who caught Mason’s pass, and this time the catch was in bounds.
“We debated on kicking a field goal,” Miners coach Dave Humphers said. “But we needed to recapture momentum.
“We felt like we had the play that could score.”
Nevada Union (7-3 overall, 3-2 Delta Valley Conference) did regain momentum heading into halftime, and in the second half the Miners used it to score three-straight touchdowns, giving NU a 41-20 lead.
The win secured Nevada Union’s eighth-straight appearance in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
– Jeff Miller
Reeves boosts Miners’ offense with 31 points
The Union, Feb. 23, 2007
In your average high school basketball game, 26 points is plenty.
For a half, it’s almost ludicrous.
Nevada Union’s Caroline Reeves scored 14 points in the first quarter and an even dozen in the second to spark the Miners’ offense during Thursday night’s 78-58 trouncing of Modesto in the first round of the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“That was a fun game,” Reeves said with a big smile after the dust settled. “I think shooting practice before the game really helped. With no JV game before us, we just shot and shot for 30 minutes to an hour before the game.
“I think it helped for us to get a ton of shots.”
The 13th seed Panthers started out playing a zone defense against the fourth-seeded Miners – a defense Reeves said Nevada Union has struggled to score against this season.
“When we started hitting our 3s, they had to switch to man defense,” Reeves said. “Then it was easier for us to score in the post.”
Reeves took her opportunity Thursday to do it all. Not only did she only miss two shots in the first quarter, but she made both of her 3-point attempts. She was 1-of-2 from behind the arc in the second quarter.
“Her energy level was incredible,” NU coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “But it looked like she might collapse at the end of the third quarter, too. But still, she was on a different level than everyone else.
“It looked like everyone else was in third gear and she was in fourth.”
Reeves finished with 31 points after scoring five in the third quarter. She took a seat toward the end of the third and never came back. But by then, it didn’t matter.
“This game was huge,” Reeves said. “Especially since last year we barely won in the first round after getting a pretty high seed. That didn’t give us much momentum going into the next game.”
– Ross Maak
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